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Justice Department follows through with threat and sues Gov. Greg Abbott to stop anti-migrant order


Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a press event. - COURTESY PHOTO / TEXAS GOVERNOR'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy Photo / Texas Governor's Office
  • Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a press event.
The U.S. Justice Department sued Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott Friday to block an executive order that would allow state troopers to pull over vehicles they suspect are carrying migrants who have COVID-19, Reuters reports.

The order interferes with the administration of federal immigration law, the Justice Department said in a petition filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in El Paso, according to Reuters.

The legal action was widely expected. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland told Abbott in a letter Thursday that his order “violates federal law in numerous respects, and Texas cannot lawfully enforce the Executive Order against any federal official or private parties working with the United States.”

Civil rights groups also said they were likely to file suits to halt the measure on the grounds that it demanded officers commit racial profiling.

Abbott issued the order Wednesday, saying it was intended to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, Abbott has repeatedly said he won't issue a mask mandate even as hospitalizations rapidly increased. What's more, he issued a separate order on Thursday limiting cities' ability to impose rules curbing the spread of the virus. 

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